Posts Tagged Classroom Management

How Teachers and Parents Can Promote Good Behavior

Image of a teacher and student high-fiving

Promoting good behavior is something both teachers and parents want for the children in their lives. And it’s always easier to do when the teachers and parents work together.

Following is an email I received from a teacher about students, parents, and good behavior.

“I am interested in implementing your ideas in my classroom. They make such sense to me, and I am very excited! What do you recommend for communicating about student behavior with the parents? In previous years I used a behavior classroom chart and a six-weeks calendar where daily behavior is recorded and sent home each day. I do not want to use that system any longer. However, I will have parents who will want to know … >>>


Spark the Joy of Learning

Image of a spark that represents the joy of learning.

Many teachers and parents often ask me how they can instill a joy of learning in children who seem to hate school. Since it’s true that you teach someone something they don’t want to learn, the question then becomes, “How can you create interest so that the young person will WANT to do what you would like?” In other words, how can you spark the joy of learning? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Let the youngster know that you understand how he or she feels and that you will make no attempt to change the youngster’s feelings. (This approach is often referred to as paradoxical in that as soon as you indicate you will not do anything, the person very
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Tips for Behavior Management

behavior management

Many teachers ask me for behavior management tips. They complain about “unpredictable” or “problematic” students and want to know to minimize these challenges.

I’m sure we all have experienced “unpredictable” or “problematic” student behaviors in our classes. The key question is how can we respond to them in positive ways that are helpful to the student exhibiting the behavior, to the rest of our students, and to our own sanity?

In order to foster positive, not punitive classroom management strategies, teachers need to always keep this question in mind: “Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?” This is the most … >>>


Create a Positive Classroom Environment

Create a positive classroom environment

The classroom environment you create plays a large part in student success. It also dictates how stressful your teaching career will be.

I have been advocating for a more positive approach toward classroom management for quite awhile. What led me in this direction was that when I returned to the classroom after 24 years in counseling and administration, I realized that I was coming to school every day wearing a blue uniform and copper buttons. I had become a cop, which is not the reason I had returned to the classroom. Reflecting on how negative I was becoming, I searched for a new approach to create a positive classroom environment.

A Better Approach to the Classroom Environment

I knew there … >>>


Teach Procedure to Reduce Discipline Problems

Why is classroom management (procedures) so important for reducing discipline issues?

1) If you don’t have good classroom management, you will have (to a greater or lesser degree) chaos. You can’t teach someone to be SELF-disciplined in the midst of chaos. Simple as that!

2) The Discipline Without Stress approach itself is actually based on handling most discipline problems by helping the undisciplined students with procedures to keep themselves in control. It’s hard to help someone else create effective procedures if you aren’t doing it well yourself.

The foundation of the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM (Part III of the DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS TEACHING MODEL) is to be PROACTIVE by teaching procedures BEFORE problems occur. In fact, effective teachers don’t focus on … >>>


Questions About Work Ethic

Here are a few of the most common questions I receive from teachers regarding students’ work ethic. Some of them may resonate with you.

Question 1: Is your system of promoting responsibility connected to work ethic or just behaviors of following the rules?

My reply:
First, I always say, “Rules are meant to control, not inspire.” I became a teacher for the latter, not the former. Second, I refer to character education on seven pages in my book. The foundational principle of any character education or work ethic is responsibility. Without it, nothing else stands.

Question 2: Does your system work well with secondary students?

My reply:
The teaching model works with anyone, of any age, in any learning situation.… >>>


Classroom Management Strategies

Years ago as I was preparing to enter the teaching profession, I was taught that classroom management was about discipline. A college professor once told me that he didn’t like the word, “discipline,” so he used “classroom management” instead. When I returned to the classroom years later, I began to reflect on the differences between these two concepts and found them so great that just understanding the differences significantly reduced behavior problems as well as my stress levels.

All classroom management strategies have to do with making instruction efficient. This is the teacher’s responsibility.

Unfortunately, too many classroom management strategies refer to behavior or discipline problems. These have to do with behavior—which is the student’s responsibility.

The sooner teachers refer … >>>


Teaching Essentials

Curriculum, Instruction, Classroom Management, and Discipline
Join successful teachers who understand the differences to pinpoint a problem.

Curriculum refers to what is taught.
Instruction has two parts: teaching and learning
(1) what the teacher does and (2) what the students do.
Classroom Management deals with how things are done. It’s about practicing procedures until they become routines. Classroom management is enhanced when procedures are explained, modeled for students, practiced, and periodically (when necessary) reinforced by practicing again. Classroom management is the teacher’s responsibility.
Discipline is the student’s responsibility. It deals with how they behave. It’s about impulse management and self-control.

If you have an unsuccessful lesson, ask yourself:
Was it the curriculum? I just didn’t make … >>>


Classroom Discipline Success Story

Since so many teachers have problems with classroom discipline, the following is shared to help teachers with discipline problems. (Italics have been added.)

I’m a 9th grade high school teacher in Long Beach, CA. You and I spoke on the phone about a year ago. Most of us grew up with the old ‘rules and consequences’ model, so I naturally followed it when I became a teacher 21 years ago.

Now I don’t know whether our culture changed, or the kids changed, or I changed. But apparently no one ever told my students that bad behavior should be punished.

Its like many of them are totally foreign to the concept. Why? I don’t know. But I was very tired … >>>


An online explanation of Discipline without Stress

Dr. Marshall recently brought teacher attention to a youtube lecture highlighting the third part of his Discipline without Stress Teaching ModelThe Raise Responsibility System.

As many university instructors do these days, Joe Jerles posted this classroom management lecture online so that his own students could access his teaching easily and repeatedly for study purposes.

Jerles is teaching from the textbook, Effective Classroom Management by Carlette Jackson Hardin.  Chapter 9 of the book deals specifically with Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress approach.

Joe Jerles’ youtube presentation may be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the Discipline without Stress approach.

Dr. Marshall points out a few things to notice while viewing the video:

  • Even kindergarten students
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Classroom Management, Discipline, Curriculum, and Instruction

An understanding of each distinctive concept is essential for effective teaching.

“The Brilliant Inventiveness of Student Misbehavior: Test Your Classroom Management Skills” was the title of an article in a well-respected educational journal. The article had some good suggestions. However, there was a glaring misnaming in that the article had nothing to do with classroom management. The article was entirely about discipline.


So are many educators—even college professors. When speaking at an international conference on character education, a college professor said to me, “I don’t like the word ‘discipline’; it’s too harsh, so I use the term ‘classroom management’ instead.” This teacher of teachers had not a clue as to the differences.

I was honored as the Distinguished Lecturer … >>>


Classroom Management and Motivation

A common confusion of teachers and school leaders is that classroom management and motivation are the same.

Successful classroom management does not create motivation to learn. More and more teachers complain about the apathy of students to put forth effort in their learning. However, a teacher can have the most effective classroom management but still not prompt student effort. The reason is that classroom management has nothing to do with student motivation. Classroom management  has to do with what the teacher does—specifically, the procedures taught, practiced, and reinforced to ensure that students understand how to implement what has been taught. 

Motivation, in contrast to making instruction efficient, is about making instruction effective. What does the teacher do to … >>>


Sharing the Visual Schedule in my primary classroom

The very first step outlined in Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress Teaching Model is classroom management.  He explains on p. 205 of his book, “Students need to be inducted into the organization of the classroom.  The way to do this is to teach procedures.”

Further down on the same page, he continues:

Procedure gives structure, which is especially important for at-risk students.  The label “at-risk” has nothing to do with intelligence.  It simply means that these students are in danger of failing or dropping out of school.  Often the lives of at-risk students are chaotic, and the only part of their lives that is stable is school.  The reason they are in danger is simply because they don’t do … >>>


Substitute Teachers

A communication to me indicated that it would be difficult to have a substitute fully understand the system if the teacher hadn’t actually read the book.

I responded that a substitute teacher did not need to know the system at all. Also, I use the term “guest teacher” because of the influence it has on students. When I was an elementary school principal, as soon as the day started I was in the “substitute teacher’s” classroom and introduced the substitute by announcing that we had a guest teacher that day and that I knew the students would treat the teacher accordingly. Expectations for responsible student behavior were established immediately.

As a teacher, I had the following one-page at the top … >>>


Some Challenges of Classroom Teaching

Work and learning both require effort. However, they are so different that I devoted the epilogue in my book to the differences between “work” in employment and “work” in learning. The differences are so apparent to me that the only time I use the word “work”—as in “homework”—is in the index.

With this in mind, enjoy the following e-mail I received.

Have you heard about the next planned “Survivor” show? Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 6 weeks.

Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district’s curriculum and a class of 28 students. Each class will have five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.D., one gifted child, and … >>>


Having a System is Superior to Having aTalent

Working in Harlem under contract for three years with the New York City Board of Education taught me an invaluable lesson: Having a teaching SYSTEM is superior to talent when a teacher faces challenging behaviors in the classroom.

The assistant superintendent and I were very impressed while observing a teacher one year. We agreed that the teacher was a “natural.” However, when I visited the teacher the following year, she told me three boys were such challenges that she could use some assistance.

Even teachers with a “natural talent” are challenged by student behaviors that teachers in former generations did not confront. To retain the joy that the teaching profession offers and to reduce one’s stress,  a SYSTEM to rely … >>>


A Creative Procedure

Although procedures are the foundational step to efficient instruction and reducing discipline problems, sometimes we forget to be creative in their establishment.

In some cases, the teacher might create a new CLASSROOM PROCEDURE to proactively deal with misbehavior from certain students. In other words, rather than reacting to the same type of misbehavior day after day, the teacher might restructure the environment more carefully in a way that would allow immature students to be more careful.

Here is an example posted on the Yahoo group Discipline Without Stress:

This year in our primary classroom, we have a number of students who find it difficult to maintain appropriate behaviour in the cramped quarters of the cloakroom at dismissal time. To deal … >>>


Eliciting Procedures

The question was asked: “How can I talk to my students or help them to change without their leaving the classroom?”

Kerry responded:

In my primary classroom, the kids aren’t yet able to read or write well enough to do written activities and in my high school job at the alternate school, having students write about their behavior would be seen as too negative. The type of student we have there would simply get up and leave the school, or more likely, just swear at us.

I think that a student can be given a fresh start each day provided that the same type of action doesn’t keep being repeated. In other words, when a particular type of behavior has … >>>